Monday, July 15, 2013

On Procrastination

I really thought I would finish my novel June 26.  Then I thought it would be done by the 30th.  Then I really hoped it would be done by last Saturday, before I left for my mission trip.  And it wasn't.
Part of that was that I didn't feel like writing.  Part of that was because reading and playing games and cooking seemed more fun.  But a much bigger part was because I didn't want to finish my book.

Don't get me wrong here.  I really wanted to write the words "The End."  I wanted to shove the novel in some corner of my hard drive and never think about it again.  I wanted to start edits and work on the critique I've been putting off.

But here's the thing.  I think this might be the best book I've ever written.  I really like the characters and I think this is the strongest character arc I've ever written.  And I'm scared.  I'm scared that this isn't the sort of success I can repeat.  What if I never write a character that's in character as much as these characters?  What if I can't even make it through another novel?  What if three novels are all I can crank out?

All of this fear paralyzed me.  For eight days, I couldn't write more then 900 words.  Because each word was a step closer to finishing the novel.  And that would mean I was done.  So it wasn't the work I was procrastinating on, per se.  I was writing words; adding scenes; and injuring characters.  It was the end of the novel I was putting off.

So after saying all that, guess what?  On Saturday, I finished my novel.  It's done.  Complete at 46,660 words.  And I'm still scared.  I'm scared to go back and read it.  It might not be as good as I currently think it is.  I'm scared to start the next problem because what if it stinks?

But I guess I won't ever know either way.  Unless I keep on trying.

What about you? Have you ever put off the end of the novel you're writing or reading because you just don't want it to be over?  Why didn't you want it to end?

Have a great week!


  1. Reading, yes. However, the novel I wrote I finished in a blur of excitement. I'm definitely having procrastination problems with editing it though.

  2. I've put it off because of fear, definitely. Woohoo on the character arc! :-) Most likely you'll find some parts are worse than you thought but others are better than you expected. :-)

  3. I'm with your commenter Jake. I'm always so excited to get done writing that I rush through the end and have to re-write it because I so obviously rushed it. It's the revision that I procrastinate on!

  4. Oh - how I wish I was more patient, but I'm not. I have to get to the end of books when I'm reading and writing. It's a problem in writing because I rush through the end, so excited to get done, and then I have to re-write the entire thing. It's revision that I procrastinate with.


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